What is a tonsillectomy?

A tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove the TONSILS

What are some of the reasons a tonsillectomy is performed?

  1. A patient with four or more infections of the tonsils per year despite adequate medical therapy (antibiotics)
  2. Tonsillar hypertrophy (enlargement) causing snoring, pauses in breathing, restless sleep, difficulty swallowing or wetting the bed
  3. Chronic or recurrent TONSILLITIS associated with a “strep” carrier state, not responding to medical treatment.
  4. Persistent foul taste or bad breath due to chronic tonsillitis that is not responding to medical treatment.
  5. Peritonsillar abscess (collection of pus around the tonsil) that does not respond to medical treatment.
  6. One sided enlargement of the tonsil that is suspicious for malignancy (cancer)

What is involved with removing the tonsils?

This surgery is performed through the mouth with the patient under general anesthesia. The tongue is depressed and the tonsils are separated from the back of the throat using cautery. This technique allows the surgery to be performed with little or no bleeding.

This surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, although your child may spend about three to four hours in the hospital following the surgery for observation. If your child is under 3 years of age, they may stay in the hospital overnight. The surgery itself lasts about 20 minutes, and the doctor will talk to you immediately following the surgery.